A new notary law will begin on October 26, 2017.
The Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) requires anyone who wants to become a notary to complete an education course and pass an exam.
Renewing notaries must also complete an education course. However, renewing notaries are exempt from the examination requirement.
If you are seeking an initial notary public commission in Pennsylvania you will have to complete a basic education course.
The three-hour basic education course can be completed online or by attending an in person class. After completing a course, you will have six months from the date that you received your course completion certificate to submit your application to the Department of State.
The department processes applications online at: www.notaryreg.pa.gov
When submitting your application, you must include:
Course Completion Certificate
Non-refundable application fee of $42
If your application is approved, you will receive an email permitting you to take the Pennsylvania Notary Exam.
Passing The Notary Exam
The Pennsylvania Notary Exam is administered by Pearson, one of the largest test proctors in the United States.
To take the exam, you will have to:
Pay an exam fee of $65
Schedule to take the test at a Pearson location
You will have 60 minutes to answer 30 multiple choice questions.
There will be 25 questions to test your understanding of the law. The questions are broken down in the following subjects:
- Five pre-test questions that will not impact your score.
- Four questions about becoming a notary.
- Six questions about managing your commission.
- 15 questions about performing notarial acts.
The test results are calculated using a scaled scoring system. Test results can range from 0 – 100. A score of 75 or higher will indicate that you passed the exam and your results will be submitted to the state. After receiving your results, the state will process your notary public appointment.
If you fail the exam, you can retake it as many times as you need to for up to six months. Each time you take the exam, you will have to pay a $65 exam fee.
Download Pearson’s PA Notary Exam booklet here:
If you are already a commissioned notary public in Pennsylvania, you will NOT have to take an exam. When it is time to renew your commission you will only have to complete a mandatory three hour continuing education course. However, if you let your commission lapse by just one day, you will have to start over by taking an basic education course and passing an exam.
New Notary Stamp and Journal
The law also also made a slight modification to the notary seal.
The notary seal is now officially referred to as the ‘ Notary Stamp’. The new stamps no longer identifies a notary public’s municipality. The stamp now displays the wording “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” at the top.
In addition to the stamp you will have to buy a notary journal previously referred to as a register.